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Do physical leisure time activities prevent fatigue? A 15 month prospective study of nurses’ aides
  1. W Eriksen,
  2. D Bruusgaard
  1. University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Eriksen
 General Practice and Community Medicine, University of Oslo, PO Box 1130, Blindern, Oslo 0318, Norway; w.b.eriksensamfunnsmed.uio.no

Abstract

Objective: To test the hypothesis that physical leisure time activities reduce the risk of developing persistent fatigue.

Methods: The hypothesis was tested in a sample that was homogeneous with respect to sex and occupation, with a prospective cohort design. Of 6234 vocationally active, female, Norwegian nurses’ aides, not on leave because of illness or pregnancy when they completed a mailed questionnaire in 1999, 5341 (85.7%) completed a second questionnaire 15 months later. The main outcome measure was the prevalence of persistent fatigue—that is, always or usually feeling fatigued in the daytime during the preceding 14 days.

Results: In participants without persistent fatigue at baseline, reported engagement in physical leisure time activities for 20 minutes or more at least once a week during the three months before baseline was associated with a reduced risk of persistent fatigue at the follow up (odds ratio  =  0.70; 95% confidence interval 0.55 to 0.89), after adjustments for age, affective symptoms, sleeping problems, musculoskeletal pain, long term health problems of any kind, smoking, marital status, tasks of a caring nature during leisure time, and work factors at baseline.

Conclusion: The study supports the hypothesis that physical leisure time activities reduce the risk of developing persistent fatigue.

  • exercise
  • fatigue
  • nurses’ aides
  • prospective studies
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